Grateful, and the New Guy

I hope you all had wonderful Thanksgivings, near and far. My husband and I spent the day together, taking our crew of dogs up to the snow and cooking a full Turkey and all the trimmings (he cooked..I clean).

 

Nailed it! Thanksgivings human and pony

It was a week of giving Thanks, entirely. In addition to Scrappy leaving and settling into his new home, Kenny settling in here, the holiday, and my mom’s birthday–the hay man came!! There was some organized chaos, a lot of heavy lifting, standard tarp shenanigans, and then there was a year’s supply of hay stored. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, rather!

When things are going swimmingly and you’ve brought home a new pony there’s only one thing to be done: go forth and ride solo, just see if you can bring it all crashing down about your ears. That may sound dramatic but then you may not have been life flighted to a bone rebuild after bringing home a new horse before. I’ve learned a few things since that incident years back but no one is immune from gravity, nor repeat incidents, so with 80% confidence I caught up Kenny boy last weekend, let a neighbor know I was headed out alone and my timeline, and off we went to the lake.

suppppp

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Well first, we had discussions on loading. We did on the way back as well, that time including a well meaning audience who offered raised eyebrows and cookies (you’ve probably never tried to coax a Morgan-headed beastie into a trailer before if you’re offering that). None of that bothers me, partially because after loading animals in an 80s Miley 2 horse straight for 6 years nothing will, but also because I truly see trailer loading as the introductory place to an entire horse relationship, and I have absolutely gone about it the wrong way before.

If you think about it, trailering a horse home is your first big bonding moment. This includes your driving, and if you haven’t been tossed into a large trailer and driven about like a horse, you really should for the reality check. But back to the loading, unless the old owner does it, which I’ve never gone for, this is your first chance to work with the horse.

Here little horsey, get into my nice strange dark death box, you don’t know me from Adam but I swear it’s safe! 

Sure, maybe the horse has been trailered for years, in different conveyances, etc. It’s still a new person with a new death box–and how will the new person go about it? In the past I have expected a horse to load because they know better etc. Now I truly see the first trailerings as an incredibly valuable training opportunity, where first you can let them take dominance, impose your will without compromise, or lay out a path that you two can travel together.

I can’t be as naturally soft with Kenny as the Arabs, yet anyway. He’s clever, and not spooky, and his first attempts at going *through* me promptly reminded me of the first Morgan I ever rode–a gelding back in Maine who regularly flattened my tiny self into the wall on his way to doing what he wanted. Kenny, being both Morgan AND pony, has notions enough to be an interesting gelding, but is also pretty adorable and looking to partner up. His riding experience of late has been with other horses and/or in the arena so being a solo trail horse out with a partner was clearly a bit confusing for him.  I have the impression that, had he the current fitness, mentally Kenny would follow a horse right through a 50, for the herd quality of it. On his own? It was a confusing 6 miles for him, but with a few NopeNopes and OverHeres from me we had a great little intro ride overall, including bridge crossings, trots, EDPP, and minimal tantrums when other horses came and went in the lot.

when you gotta go…little Morgan feet, troll doll hair, adorable!

My husband is still trying to get used to the fact that Kenny doesn’t spook at every whisper on the breeze, or tractor scraping by. I’m still getting used to Kenny’s high pitched voice, which makes me grin every time. Kenny? Well he’s still getting used to us–and I think we’re all doing fine.

 

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Miscellaneous Gear Review

It’s been a while since I did a gear review, and I’ve accumulated a few Yays and Nays that I think are worth sharing.

Rider Apparel

UndeRider: I am one of those that sometimes wears 2 bras to ride. I recently purchased the Anita Extreme Control wireless sports bra after a fitting at the UndeRider booth at Wild Wild West ride. I’m a spasmodic shopper who has lost a significant amount of weight in the last few years and the size bra I had been buying wasn’t accurate, FYI, so a fitting can be worth doing. I liked the bra the few times I wore it working and then I really put it to the test on Gold Country 50 this past Saturday. Each time I put it on I briefly go “this is too tight around the ribs”–and then I completely forget about it and the girls til it’s time to change. Which for me is exactly what I want to happen with a bra! Winning. Already ordered another.

Kerrits Ice-Fil: I love the long sleeve tech shirts, literally wearing one right now. The Ice-Fil tights,linked in the brand name heading I have 2 pairs of because the pair I bought in what I thought were my size were way too large, sizing is a bit odd. The material feels as warm as if not warmer than my Irideon basic tights,and they’re quite stretchy to that point I question durability. Now that I’ve talked crap, I’ll add that I can’t stop wearing them and it’s purely because of the thigh pockets for my cell phone and goodies. In search of more favored thigh pocket britches..

Rackers Tights: I bought these because of the above mentioned search. They have a pocket, but it’s on the front of the leg which is awkward. I also found the fit awkward, and the material feels like a tarp. They are not in my britches rotation.

Horse/Tack:

Tailing Rope: I bought one of these nifty doodads from the lovely ladies of American Trail Gear at AERC Convention this year. Spark recently enthusiastically broke the snap while tied to a hitching rail–so I threw on some other clip I had in my tack trunk and it’s still awesome. Apparently it’s so new it’s not on their website yet but here it is on saddle, coiled, it’s the thin blue rope and has a 2 ended beta keeper that snaps onto a D Ring on the saddle on one side and holds the coiled rope in a snap on the other:

11695006_867951466416_4710677968419846990_nn I just pop open the snap when I bail off and away we lead, without having to undo reins or martingale. Here it is deployed:

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Rein Keeper: this is another easy to make yourself or Look Distance Depot has one! doodad that is so handy. Coupled with the ATG tailing rope above, I just snap the carabiner on the reins as I am bailing with said tailing rope (as seen in eating pic above, that’s why the red reins are staying up) and again no need to watch or undo reins.

Snazzy Fleece Coolers :  Hooves N Whiskers is a fun source of dog and horse goodies, from my favorite buckets, TubTrugs, to gorgeous handmade mohair girths and unique coolers. Spark borrowed Sheza’s at gold Country and this picture does it no justice, it’s got lovely black borders and everything..

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That’s all for now!